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Tuesday 25 June 2019
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Moonilal: Rowley’s return as Housing minister disturbing

Dr Roodal Moonilal
Dr Roodal Moonilal

OROPOUCHE East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has described Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s return to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development as a “disturbing throwback to an earlier and troubling period” when, under the 2003-2007 Patrick Manning administration, Rowley had “presided over the HDC-approved board expenditure of $9 billion and $3 billion in unapproved variations at the Ministry of Housing.”

In a media release on Wednesday, Moonilal said “over one dozen projects” started at that time were still incomplete owing to “poor designs, drawings, engineering, infrastructure and project management.”

He cited the Las Alturas project, Wellington Heights, Victoria Keys, Springvale, Valsayn and the Edinburgh towers as examples of the “sad testimony to Rowley’s sordid tenure in Housing.”

“During that time Dr Rowley was the subject of critical scrutiny, with then-Prime Minister Patrick Manning demanding to know ‘Where the money gone?’ with respect to certain dealings at the Cleaver Heights project.

“That housing venture and other taxpayer-funded projects with cost and time overruns led to the historic Uff Commission of Enquiry, which produced stunning revelations and 94 recommendations,” he said.

Moonilal also noted that Rowley was also associated with the Vieux Fort project, which was “mothballed by his own administration, again because of suspect decisions, poor management and alleged irregularities.

“The return of D Rowley to this vital ministry does not inspire faith with respect to project decisions and accountability with the public’s purse,” Moonilal said.

He also claimed former minister Randall Mitchell, had left the ministry with “serious questions to answer such as the distribution policy at Victoria Keys, the stalled PPP project at Mt Hope, the provision of housing to the vice president of the Senate and accusations of nepotism and favouritism.”

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